What do we mean by dimension?

A dimension at Civímetro defines a work dynamic that is considered common to civic innovation settings.

We consider these dynamics to be usual but not conditional; that is, not all dimensions are always relevant for all civic innovation environments. Also, when various dimensions are relevant for a certain setting, they can be relevant at different intensities.

An initiative is considered to be a good fit with Civímetro if at least four dimensions are relevant for its objectives and way of doing things. If the level is lower, it would probably be of interest to explore other methodologies that could do a more complete evaluation of the initiative.

Origin and evolution

The dimensions (referred to in earlier phases of Civímetro as “attributes”) arise from the need to promote characteristics that are typical of civic innovation processes and to give them visibility. From its inception, within the CivicWise network, research has been done on these particular ways of doing things, understanding them as inherent and necessary for us to be able to talk about civic innovation.

Why they are useful

  • To analyse whether the ways of doing things typical of civic innovation have been followed.

  • To connect the results obtained with these specific ways of doing things.


Each dimension has several aspects that describe specific actions, observable and measurable facts. The aspects are the bridge to creating different kinds of indicators (of process, output, outcome, or impact) connected to each dimension.

The dimensions synthesise seven concepts

A type of organization in which decision-making is based on dialogue and an exchange of viewpoints, and responsibilities are equally shared based on interests or abilities. People are connected to each other in such a way that none of them, not even a group, can capitalize on decision-making and the flow of information.

  • Promote rotation of defined job roles, ensuring that there is alternation between visible/invisible tasks and productive/reproductive ones.
  • Allow changes in people’s involvement in a project, making adaptation to their basic needs easier.
  • Promote decision-making through consensus and/or consent by avoiding majority voting.
  • Ensure equal opportunities for participation and input of ideas for all participants.

A type of organization created ad hoc for the development of an action or project. This is based on the de-bureaucratization of processes, allowing individuals to participate in several initiatives at the same time and to take on different roles in each one.

  • Facilitate to the maximum possible extent the elimination of bureaucracy in the processes to create proposals and work groups.
  • Allow the organization and dissolution of work groups according to specific needs and opportunities.
  • Allow people to be involved in more than one work group or project at the same time.
  • Promote participation in projects by individuals with professional profiles as well as beginners or those who are simply interested.

Processes based on learning by doing. These prioritise learning during the process as opposed to the outcome, thus minimising fear of failure. This way of working develops the ability to adapt quickly to new circumstances and makes it easy to try out ideas or solutions that are riskier or more innovative.

  1. Promote the creation of low-cost solutions in real-world case studies through their applied design, testing, and analysis of mistakes and successes.
  2. Allow changes in the approach to the project during the work process so that unplanned results are obtained.
  3. Define specific spaces, protocols, and tools for dealing with changes and conflict resolution.
  4. Promote the project’s independence in regard to the origin of its economic, material and/or human resources.

A group of individuals with a collective identity who share common values, objectives and/or interests, and with the ability to accommodate the greatest diversity of people, regardless of gender, cultural origin, academic training, socioeconomic situation, sexual identity, functional diversity or any other aspect.

  1. Facilitate the inclusion of individuals of different origin, age, sex, or socio-economic level as well as physical, sensory and/or mental functional diversity.
  2. Promote the creation of ties and close relationships among the people in a space, work group, or project.
  3. Promote the maintenance of human and relational capital created in the development of projects or activities after completion.

A quality by which a project, process or institution documents, evaluates and disseminates each of the elements that have made it possible, including what was unforeseen or could be considered negative, based on evidence and in a complete, accessible and understandable way.

  1. Regularly document work processes for correct traceability.
  2. Promote and publish a conscious and constant evaluation of the processes, results and impacts.
  3. Facilitate access to information in an open, free and understandable way for all audiences.

Ability to exchange, learn and create knowledge between initiatives developed globally and others connected to a local context, using digital, face-to-face or hybrid formats and tools.

  1. Exchange knowledge and results obtained with similar collectives, initiatives or projects developed in other geographies and cultures.
  2. Facilitate the production of content telematically, as well as the creation of remote work teams.
  3. Promote face-to-face and digital meeting spaces with similar initiatives, experiences or projects to create local, national or international networks.

A quality of a project, initiative or institution that allows any person or entity to access all the information necessary to replicate, make a version or improve it, facilitating exchange and collaboration with external actors.

  1. Provide, through understandable and accessible documentation, sufficient information on the processes developed and the results achieved so that these can be shared, modified or replicated.
  2. Promote the use of free licenses in the developed content.
  3. Facilitate the development of activities or actions led by external actors.
  4. Take into account proposals for improvement coming from external actors.